Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

A Bit Of A Complicated Deal For Tyler Bertuzzi

10/28/2020 at 8:53am EDT

from Max Bultman of The Athletic,

His postseason pedigree in the OHL and AHL, including winning the AHL playoff MVP in 2017, speaks for itself. And a one-year deal certainly doesn’t do anything to change his upward trajectory. It’s also worth mentioning that Bertuzzi is the one who opted for arbitration this offseason, and certainly, the NHL’s financial strife right now doesn’t make negotiating long-term contracts easy.

But in the big picture, this contract was always going to have ramifications for the ongoing remake of the Red Wings under general manager Steve Yzerman, and the implications of this deal’s length, in particular, are layered.

The short-term bottom line is that Bertuzzi, a clear top-six (and usually top-line) forward for Detroit, is under contract for a reasonable cap and salary number for 2020-21. Next offseason, he will again be a restricted free agent, and Detroit will retain his rights. However, he will at that point be only one year away from unrestricted free agency.

That’s what makes the deal a bit complicated in the long term. The Red Wings have kept all their contracts short since Yzerman arrived last spring. That’s mostly been a positive, as he’s signed veteran free agents to one- and two-year deals that won’t block any top prospects long term. Such an approach has preserved flexibility as Detroit’s next young wave matures, while adding veteran support and minimal locks on the cap sheet for when the team is ready to turn the corner.

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